Discussion in 'General Anime Chit-Chat' started by AironicallyHuman, Jan 1, 2009.
Chobits - Not bad 7/10
Inferno cop 1st episode
Gundam: Reconguista in G
As strange as it may seem, whenever I go into an anime with a pretty bad critical reception, I try to be as optimistic as possible. My taste doesn't always line up with general consensus, both in terms of me liking shows that didn't exactly blow people away, or outright despising shows that managed to garner critical acclaim. So, when I finally got around to watching Gundam: Reconguista in G, I honestly went in wanting to like it. For those who don't know, Reco G is probably the worst received show in the franchise since its conception in the late 70's, with even the writer and director, Yoshiyuki Tomino, openly admitting it was a flawed series and apologizing for it. Despite all of this, and a shocking 5.8 on MyAnimeList, I was almost certain I'd be that one guy fighting in it's corner, being the optimist I am. However, after sitting through the full 24 episodes, I can say with utmost certainty that it deserves every single bit of criticism it gets.
Even though I hated it by the end, I was duped into thinking I actually would like it, as the initial 10 or so episodes are rather enjoyable. It's opening is rather different from the tried and true Gundam formula, which I find to be a bit tiresome, and is more upbeat and playful in nature than the others I've seen. My good will soon evaporated after the first half though, around the time the show moves its setting to being primarily in space, as it's at this point the story becomes the most convoluted and hard to follow mess that I have ever witnessed. By the end, I honestly couldn't tell you what was happening, what characters were on what side, what they were fighting for or what the point of literally anything was. It is just nigh impossible to follow, to the point where I have to question how this got to broadcast. It baffles me that someone read through this and decided it was fit to air. It's just astonishing. All the action is pretty great, I will give it that, but without context, it's utterly meaningless, which makes it inherently boring because there's just no investment there.
Speaking of lack of investment, the characters don't do Reco G any favours either. Whilst I'm not sure bland is the right term to use, they are pretty much all lacking in any kind of depth or development throughout the series, and I found it hard to latch on to anyone. It's not like there wasn't any opportunity to develop the leads Bellri and Aida, I think the plot easily allows for it, but it just doesn't act on any of the plot revelations to add to them. For example, there is this shocking waste of potential rather early on when Bellri does something that, at first, seems to seriously impact him and makes him regretful, but by the next episode, he's right as rain, as if nothing happened at all. It was incredibly frustrating to see. Then there are characters who are straight up pointless. Noredo Nug is Bellri's friend, but throughout the entire series, she does quite literally nothing of value. You could take her out of the anime completely and you would barely even notice. Aside from acting as a plot device in the early episodes, you could say the exact same thing about Raraiya too, who, whilst entertaining at first, becomes incredibly dull after she recovers from her bout of amnesia and doesn't do much of note.
As I briefly mentioned before, from a technical standpoint, Reco G is actually great, with some genuinely fantastic animation in the battle sequences as well as some stellar voice acting from the Japanese cast, but its all wasted when everything else about the show is so incredibly flawed, it's kind of sad really.
If I were to sum up my feelings on Gundam: Reconguista in G in a single word, it would definitely be disappointing. There was definitely promise from the outset, but it's all squandered on an incredibly over complicated story that is genuinely impossible to follow.
Haha I saw that coming. You reallllllly don't like it do you
Rainy Cocoa / Rainy Cocoa Season 2
With a show of short length you can never really judge it on how it handles it's plot elements or how it develops it's characters, it all comes to the Pacing of a Show and Whether it's Cast is likeable for the most part and Rainy Cocoa did absolutely nothing for me on either of those fronts. Despite being two minutes long each episode felt like a drag to sit through with some of the most oddly handled cliffhangers I think I've seen and the characters just did absolutely nothing for me on any level. Each episode was just passing by and absolutely nothing was sinking into my head, no joke landed, when a dog appears I went 'aww' once and I think that was it, the show just left me completely stone faced. Season 2 then does the thing where it sidelines some characters who I don't really care about and replaces them with some cast members who I found incredibly annoying. With regards to Animation there isn't really anything much to talk about, there's nothing bad about any of it's art per-se but it's just incredibly average, same thing regarding the OST. You could also say the same about the shows OP, was pleasant enough I suppose, but then again after hearing it 24 times, I would be completely OK if I didn't have to listen to it again. So, at best Rainy Cocoa is innocuously average and at worst is just mind numbingly tedious and there's no real consistency between those two points.
Rainy Cocoa - 4/10
Rainy Cocoa Season 2 - 3/10
The Boy and the Beast (theatrical screening)
I absolutely love this; it blew me away. I love the characters, the setting, the design work, the story, the relationships between the characters and how they develop, the animation, the voice acting, the casting...
I felt like some of the film's themes spoke to me on a very personal level, so I'm at a bit of a loss for what to say just now. I was in tears at a couple of points.
10 out of 10 for me. I'll be going to see it again.
I tracked down the adv release of Rune Soldier over the month and completed it a few days ago.
I'd give it a solid 8/10
I enjoyed the comedy and the character interactions and the fun little adventures so it kept me plenty entertained.
It could have been a higher rating though if there had been more of a main plot.
Very comedic but knew when to hit the emotional beats, Taiga was an amazingly unique female protagonist and Cassandra Lee Morris knocked it out the park. Guess the only complaint is I wanted a bit more from the ending but a solid 9/10. Feel like the re-watchability is gonna high like most comedy shows I watched. Good stuff.
Couldn't agree more definitely my all time fave anime and definitely one I'd watch over and over
I found myself rewinding back in the episodes themselves and so when that happened I knew the re-watchability is gonna be high! It's definitely up there as one of my favourite anime series.
Napping Princess - 9/10
Such a wonderful film. It's a very clever melding of fantasy world meets reality as it tells a story of a girl finding out who she is. The imagery used basically captures the ever looming monster that is the 2020 olympics and a lot of what you see will show that more obviously than others, but it's there throughout. What's more, you don't get lumped with any unnecessary romance, it's all about family, heritage, and the future. I don't want to say too much more, but this feels like the best to put for now. Highly recommend you give this a watch when it hits again, and if SLA gives us another chance to see it, i'd be inclined to watch it again honestly.
In This Corner of the World: Review (2016, Film)
In This Corner of the World is as much a celebration of life and the beauty that it entails as it is a story about the resilience of the people when faced with times of hardship and uncertainty. Set during World War II, the story of Suzu, a girl whom over the course of the two hour runtime grows and matures before our very eyes, and as she does a connection is formed between the viewer and her. Although we witness her grow as she is faced with misfortune, her desire to dream and stay positive remains a constant as she paints and draws the scenery around her as a means to escape the realities of war but to also appreciate the beauty that surrounds her in Kure, amongst the steep hillsides and adjacent to the inland sea which is adorned with warships. Suzu is 18 at the start of the film, a fact that may surprise a few people as the character designs are both playful and childlike. As you adjust to this stylistic choice however, a style that faithfully recreates the designs of Fumiyo Kouno's manga do we begin to realise just how effective this style is. There's a sense of maturity and care that graces each and every frame as 1940's Japan is brought to life and it's this juxtaposition that works together to conjure up a blend of levity and seriousness that makes for a huge punch to the gut.
At many junctures In This Corner of the World is a cosy film, laid back in its demeanour it invites its audience to soak in the atmosphere as the characters live their lives. The world has been meticulously crafted and has been animated in a beautiful painterly visage that juxtaposes amazingly with the more stark imagery. It is clear that director Katabuchi has spent a lot of time and effort in order to recreate 1930's/1940's Japan and it's evident. In This Corner of the World is very much a slice of life and so utmost focus is applied to the interactions between the cast, from the way that they talk to each-other to the way in which they interact with one-another on a day to day basis. For many people this may mean that the film slows down to a halt with not much ever happening at many points in the film but these moments create the heart of the film. Pillow shots are used throughout the film as a means to break up the action and to create a sense of place. We're allowed to breath in and appreciate the painstakingly recreated scenery and an air of sentimentality billows throughout the film. These shots can often come across as unrelated and abrupt but instead of diluting the emotion that's brewing they instead intensify the impact as they, as I said earlier create a sense of place. The world within this movie feels tangible and real and the interactions that occur on screen feel genuine.
Gentle, warm and hand-crafted, the painterly aesthetics lull you into its world as the highly detailed recreation of Kure is brought to life. The main character loves to draw and so during the movie elements of her imagination splash onto the screen and intertwine with the events that are unfolding as a means to allow the audience to see the world through her eyes. What this allows director Katabuchi to do is to depict events and scenes that we've seen time and time again in a fresh and new manner. In This Corner is not short of inventive imagery that sets it apart from similar films. The character designs are equally charming although they can appear simplistic and lacking in nuanced facial expressions, the terrific voice work however points the audience in the right direction. Some of the nonplussed facial expressions work, intended or otherwise as a means to make the characters almost unperturbed by the events occurring, to them this is life, the sounds of bombs exploding and bullets ricocheting is almost one with the sounds of birds chirping and cicadas buzzing. Either way, the character designs embody the pleasing and homely designs of Fumiyo Kouno. Kouno would sometimes draw images with her non-dominant hand or with lipstick instead of ink as a means to make the images more varied and to more importantly depict the emotions of the characters visually and the animators of this film took similar approaches in order to achieve the very same. Like Suzu in the manga and film, both Kouno and the animators of the movie tested themselves in order to discover their capabilities when it comes to art and their imagination. A film about the atomic bombs and the devastation that they left upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki brings fourth obvious imagery which is why the way in which Katabuchi goes about depicting these events are imaginative and innovative when it comes to storytelling.
The hand-drawn backgrounds are full to the brim with historically accurate details which juxtapose perfectly with the animated and simplified character designs and the two compliment one another perfectly. In This Corner perfectly captures the moments in life and I found myself becoming absorbed in the story, so much so that at parts I had forgotten that I was watching a film, never mind an animated film. From cooking to cleaning as the characters go through the motions the film is able to inject a much needed sense of levity amidst the terrible events that occur and by the end of the film I had truly become attached to the characters in a way that I hadn't expected.
Audio is handled just as well with the voice actors all doing a terrific job which again goes a long way in cementing this world and making it feel real. Although many of the audio tracks don't necessarily stand out on their own, they all work wonderfully in conjunction with what's being depicted visually, the film opening up with 悲しくてやりきれない ザ (I Can't Bear How Sad It Is) however is poignant, beautiful and does a terrific job of setting the tone for what is to come. The original 1968 version by The Folk Crusaders is a truly fantastic song and this rendition by Kotringo is equally sobering with the lyrics hitting like a tsunami of emotions.
It's a testament to the crew behind this film that they were able to craft a two hour historical animated film and to hold ones attention throughout and to stick the landing is impressive. Animation affords us the ability to conjure up the most imaginative and exciting worlds, to create and depict lives with ones bare hands is powerful and it leads to all sorts of possibilities which is why when a movie like this comes along it reminds us that some of the most remarkable and touching stories take place in the real world, even sometimes in a little corner of the world.
Amagi Brilliant Park:
A decent series, phenomenally animated, but much better when it is being funny instead of serious but it just feels like a tip of the iceberg if you know what I mean, so much cool stuff is introduced but hardly explored and at the end of series I didn't feel fulfilled. I have read that the original source material solves these gripes I have and delves into things and characters a lot more, a shame really.
March Comes in Like a Lion
Having largely ignored this series while it was airing, due to general apathy, I wasn't really prepared for how good this story of an isolated professional shogi player learning to forge relationships with those around him actually is. The journey of a year in protagonist Rei's life is an emotional trip, flitting between great highs and lows, but it never once felt overly saccharine or melodramatic, always tempering one extreme with elements of the other, and rarely resolving its dilemmas in the way you'd expect.
There is a game in there somewhere, but far from the technically dominated, Akagi-esque setup I was anticipating, the minutiae of shogi is almost irrelevant. Shaft are absolutely in their element here, using their quirky visual style to convey the progress of matches so much through gesture and atmosphere, that sometimes we needn't even see the players facing off for more than a few moments, let alone a complete game. There is a brief explanatory section that offers some insight into its workings, disguised as a children's book, but Crunchyroll haven't translated this. It's a disappointment, but by the end of the series, I certainly felt like I understood the gist of what was going on well enough for it not to bother me.
I'd really hoped to avoid any terrible metaphors, but ultimately, I think that while other shows may have many of the same pieces, what sets March Lion apart, is it's ability to play them all in just the right order, at exactly the right time. This surely is one of the great achievements of television anime in the 2010s.
Love Hina 6/10
Not as funny as I remember from 10 years ago and I found there to be a few pointless boring episodes. I'll stick with the manga in the future.
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